With summer in full swing and the kids enjoying a break from school, your outdoor living area may be working overtime. Here are some ideas to keep it in top form for both relaxing and entertaining.
1. Define your spaces.
Even a small patio, balcony, terrace or backyard can serve several functions — all it takes is a clever layout with attractive items that help establish functional zones. Use fences, garden walls, lattice and landscaping if you need some privacy from neighbours. Meanwhile, use pergolas, arbors, gazebos and outdoor area rugs to designate nooks and conversation or cooking areas within your own property. Open concept dividers also work well as transitional pieces between spaces.
2. Create some shade.
Designing a space where you and guests can retreat from the sun means you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor oasis all day long, even when the UV rays are strongest. Colourful umbrellas, large-leaf plants and mature trees all add to a lush, tropical vibe and remind you of vacations to sunny destinations. If you’re looking for versatility and control, a retractable awning will do the trick.
3. Invest in stylish weatherproof décor.
Outdoor living spaces have become an extension of our indoors, and the availability of higher quality pieces and a wider variety of options reflect that. Not only can you now find weatherproof dining sets and comfy couches, but also fashionable lamps and chic wall art. Trendy and traditional materials like wrought or cast iron and aluminum, wicker, and wood maximize comfort and durability while making it easy to match your personal aesthetic.
4. Add some spectacular amenities.
What backyard escape would be complete without a few luxuries? If you have the space and can splurge a bit, a hot tub or water fountain inspire relaxation and make your outdoor space feel like a mini getaway. Swings and zero gravity chairs can help you enjoy your yard that much more, and fire pits are becoming increasingly popular options for a cottage or camping feel right at home. If you live in a condo, you can probably incorporate most of these upgrades– just double check your administration’s guidelines.
5. Amp up the ambiance.
Thoughtful finishing touches like outdoor speakers, waterfalls and lighted pathways complete your retreat. Lighting goes a long way towards setting the mood — think candles, fairy lights, lanterns, tiki torches or Brooklyn lights. Cheerful and fragrant flowers or trendy plants are also a must; red impatiens, gold-leaf fuchsia and pink begonias, climbing vines and English ivy are gorgeous options that each create a unique look and feel for your outdoor space.